PDA and smartphone vendor PalmOne has unveiled channel plans for the UK following lukewarm sales of its US hit smartphone, the Treo 600.
The company, which spun off Palm OS maker PalmSource last year, intends to take up to 10 per cent of the UK smartphone market in the next year from its current six per cent market share.
An exclusive agreement with Orange to sell the firm's latest Treo 600 smartphone in Europe ended in April, and the vendor conceded that sales through other operators failed to take off.
Mark Hodgson, PalmOne's UK smartphone channel development manager, said: "Because of the success of the Treo 600 in the US, our supplies have been limited. The smartphone is a mass-market device, but the Treo appeals to business."
Hodgson said the recent success of Research in Motion's (RIM's) BlackBerry email device showed that IT managers want a single product that handles messaging and voice.
It is understood that PalmOne and RIM are in discussions to port the BlackBerry software client to PalmOne platforms.
PalmOne's UK distributors are Hugh Symons and Computer 2000. Hodgson added that PalmOne was currently in talks with 26 resellers. It also works with high-street chains such as PC World Business and Genesis.
Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said: "We still see [the Palm OS] as a very niche operating system beside Symbian and Microsoft Pocket PC. PalmOne has a geographical advantage in the US, and I don't think the reason it has not taken off here is all to do with the supply.
"The Ericsson P800 and P900 have done well here, but not in the US, and that might well be a cultural question."
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